For example, how would you test the login functionality of a system and what would be your approach (during the interview) to show a true understanding of the QA role ?
I am not looking for test cases, more so the overall approach to tackling the question and how to demonstrate proper flow/process when doing it.

I have an interview upcoming and I know there will be a technical competency question or whiteboard exercise around "How would you test n. n is likely part of a web application, coming up with test cases is not a problem whatsoever, I could talk forever about that, I need to refine my thought process so to speak to answer this.

How can I address requirements, scope assumptions, strategy, test cases, environment and automation ?

  • If you could, try to summarize your question in a single question that doesn't rely on anything else in the answer.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Jul 22, 2017 at 22:34
  • Updated to remove a lot of what was more like an answer in the question. @symon just trying to help you get a good answer. Your question was about to be closed 'as is' Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 10:47

2 Answers 2


After some more research I think I can comfortably answer this myself, I think a good approach is to target the STLC and talk about each step.

  • Test Requirement Analysis: Look at the requirements, work out if there is any test automation feasibility here, which types of testing are also feasible. Deliverables: A Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM).

  • Test Planning: Consider various factors of the greater project, like risks, scope, entry/exit criteria etc and contribute to estimations. Deliverables: An estimation document, A test plan or test strategy document.

  • Test Creation: Creating the test cases, mapping them effectively in the RTM. Reviewing and tweaking the test cases with peers. Creating test data and automation scripts where applicable. Deliverables: Updated RTM.

  • Test Environment Setup: Preparing the test environment in anticipation for the first build, tweaking any configurations such as xml configs, IIS configurations etc. Creating a database instance and having it ready for the build, its likely we have an existing version already, maybe we added a new database and need a connection string etc.

  • Test Execution: Executing the test cases, logging any defects and following them through to closure, re-testing any fix implementations. RTM is updated and completed during this phase, test case status is updated with progress.

  • Test Cycle Closure: The testing team will meet and create a retrospective to help them improve in future, thinking of new processes that can or should be implemented and refining the existing ones. Here a test cycle report is generated, containing information about the number of defects discovered and their priority/severity, cost and test time etc, aswell as some other test metrics documentation.

Providing understanding of the above, coupled with thorough test cases for the scenario at hand, would in my opinion be a very solid answer to the question


In Agile environments (the majority) I would use the following to help guide me.
In non-agile environments I would still try and use some form of them

Agile Testing Quadrants

Determine where to do unit, integrated, user acceptance, performance, load and security testing

Testing Pyramid

Determine how to have a large number of unit and small number of integrated tests

HappySad Workflows

Use happy, sad and optional workflow paths

Continuous Integration

I would plan for a CI environment to run tests for both branches and master

Issue Tracking System

I would make sure to to use software like Jira, Pivotal Tracker, Trello, etc. to track issues

Improve through Continual Change

I would make sure to have some sort of retrospective system to constantly improve testing

Test cases are very important, but higher level practices should also be considered.

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